The Telegraph
Thursday , January 30 , 2014
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Facelift plan for Bodhgaya

The Bodhgaya Nagar Panchayat has prepared a Rs 148-crore proposal to provide civic amenities on a par with international standards to the residents of the pilgrim city and the tourists.

Several projects under the proposal are also aimed at generating revenue.

Bodhgaya Nagar Panchayat (BNP) chairperson Priti Singh, vice-chairman Dinesh Singh and other councillors of the nagar panchayat on Wednesday handed over the proposal to Union housing and urban poor alleviation ministry principal secretary Arun Kumar Mishra during his visit to Bodhgaya.

The nagar panchayat representatives requested the principal secretary to grant loan for implementation of the proposal.

BNP chairperson said the principal secretary appreciated the proposal and has told her that he would look forward to fulfil the loan requirement of the nagar panchayat.

The proposal will also be handed over to chief minister Nitish Kumar during his visit to Bodhgaya on February 4 to inaugurate the three-day Bodh Mahotsava.

“The nagar panchayat is committed to develop Bodhgaya on a par with international standards. For this, if necessary, we would even knock the door of the World Bank to get loans,” Priti Singh said.

According to the proposal Rs 25 crore has been earmarked for a shopping complex-cum-guesthouse-cum-marriage hall besides, an international convention centre to be built at a cost of Rs 10 crore.

The plan envisages developing the existing Jaiprakash Udyan (towards the west of the World Heritage Mahabodhi Mahavihara) into a Buddhist theme park at a cost of Rs 15 crore, a hospital at Rs 20 crore and a waterpark at Rs 20 crore. A swimming pool to be built at a cost of Rs 10 crore, children’s park at Rs 7 crore, an international school costing Rs 5 crore, beautification of the bank of Niranjana river at a cost of Rs 3 crore, a sports ground worth Rs 30 crore, Sambodhi park construction and beautification at Rs 5 crore, an electronic crematorium at Rs 1 crore.

Since Bodhgaya is a place of international importance where devotees and the tourists from across the world visit every year in large number there is a requirement to develop the city.

Several projects under the proposal aims to generate revenue and therefore the nagar panchayat will be in a position to repay the loan amount sanctioned either by the Centre, the state or by the World Bank. Not only the proposals will generate revenue but also prove to be a source of entertainment for the tourists.

“The tourists will enjoy visiting the place and return with a positive image of the city in their minds. It will attract more tourists here,” Priti Singh said.

Apart from the Rs 148-crore proposal, BNP vice-chairman Dinesh also demanded from the Union ministry principal secretary for construction of a check dam at Niranjana river so that rain water could be stored for agriculture, boating and beautification purposes.

“Storage of water will also help retain the underground water level,” he said.

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